In Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the longest serving Prime Minister, from 1981 to 2003 and 2018 to present. It is about 23 years in total and still counting.
Plus, Tun Mahathir is the only person to become the Prime Minister of Malaysia twice, i.e. the fourth and the seventh. It is even more impressive that he become Prime Minister the second time around by competing as the opposition. Thus, he is the first non-UMNO Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Internationally, Tun Mahathir is the oldest state leader (94 years), beating United Kingdoms’ Queen Elizabeth II (93 years). Besides, the Malaysian Prime Minister just celebrated his 94th birthday on July 10.
In return, well-wishes for Tun M were spread across social media. On Twitter, the hashtag usage of ‘#tunm94’ went viral.
The network of Tun Mahathir may be divided into five separate clusters, but the majority of them showed positive reactions towards the premier.
The middle of the network is eye-catching as there was a significant gap between usage of ‘#tunm94’ (blue cluster) and Tun Mahathir’s official Twitter account, @chedetofficial (green cluster). First, it is because not everybody who wished Tun M used the hashtag.
But it is also because the Prime Minister resumed his duty as usual on his birthday. July 10 was a Wednesday and he attended the parliamentary session.
On the other hand, the pink cluster was far away from the rest, despite its main influencer being @JPenerangan who wished Tun M on his birthday. This is because the account used its usual hashtags, #SayangiMalaysiaku, #MalaysiaBersih, #KitaMalaysia, #MalaysiaBaharu and others, instead of #tunm94.
Meanwhile, the yellow cluster was spawned by Channel News Asia journalist, Sumisha Naidu. She shared an old video of her interview with Tun Mahathir to commemorate his birthday.
Overall, the Twitter network of Tun Mahathir may be “divided”, yet connected as a majority of the Twitter users gave well-wishes to the Prime Minister.